Well, we managed to make it one whole week in school before I started getting the emails about behavioral problems. Five notes in two days.
Yeah, the last few days have been tough. Wednesdays are usually our turn around day; things improve so I’m optimistic about today. By Friday we’re great and then it starts all over again on Mondays. It’s an awful cycle. And even though I can tell it’s a cycle, it’s just relentless and the severity is always surprising and I’m getting so freaked out about Monday’s that there’s a cloud over the weekend for me.
The teachers asked me how they can help Hope.
I gave what I believe to be what I would do—try to be gracious but consistent and please be patient with us.
Yeah, the truth of the matter is I have no effing idea what they should do. I’m barely holding it together around here.
I sat her down and gently talked to her. She was shocked that teachers would just email me. Naw girl, no one is checking for your little “note sent home but never really gets here” game. No boo, teachers just email the parents now. Her defensive shields went up slowly, but when they were up, they were really up. You see, Hope never does anything wrong. She is always the victim. How dare they send me emails full of lies about her!
This oppositional defiance thing is so dang serious. And it’s so exhausting, especially when the denials and lies fly in the face of obvious fact and reason. There’s nothing reasonable about oppositional defiance.
This week I had to start doing some consequences; she seems stunned. I actually am stunned. I’m always feeling stunned.
<whisper> I kinda hate my life right now.
<whispers even more softly> I feel awful and guilty that I hate my life right now.
Amongst the rudeness, the belligerence, the lies and the shutdowns, the clinginess and everything else I can’t be bothered to list here, I’m really feeling like a failure. I know I’m not, but it sure feels sucky. I never imagined that I would fly in with a cape and save Hope; I thought I had realistic expectations, but it’s just really hard. I cannot remember the last time when I felt so emotionally stretched. I feel awful that I can’t muster the umph to comfort her for every little thing. I wonder when she pushed a boundary by showing me a “funny” video laced with F-bombs, was my reaction ok? Does she think I’m mad and frustrated all the time? I’m usually frustrated and I try not to show it, but more than mad, I’m usually aghast by just how crazy this life is at the moment.
I’m really sick with a sinus infection this morning. So she started complaining about her ailments to see if she can one up me and if I would let her stay home with me. She didn’t have a fever, but I did this morning. So her little narrow butt was dispatched to the bus stop, but not before we had to have another head butt about the need for her to wear a real coat in 22 degree weather with snow storm expected to start later today. #icant
Nothing about any of this even feels rational. I just feel like I’m riding the same roller coaster day after day, walking on egg shells, trying to keep things moving. Cooking, cleaning, laundry…I loathe too much clutter when I’m sick. I like things tidy when I’m sick. I needed her to go to school so I could have time to wipe down things with my Clorox wipes, change my sheets, make some chili and homemade bread and nurse myself and my mind. I’m praying that the storm is delayed so that she stays after for her band practice so that I can relish two additional hours of peacefulness. The storm means all kinds of bonding time tomorrow…Sigh. I’m planning to run and get a couple of puzzles.
I’m hoping this Wednesday turnaround gives me the emotional break I need through the end of the week.
February 12th, 2014 at 10:42 am
Praying for you and Hope during this transition.
February 12th, 2014 at 10:46 am
Thanks for the read Toni and many, many thanks for the prayers.
February 12th, 2014 at 11:34 am
I think you’re doing an amazing job, just stay the course!! She will soon figure out that her hijinks aren’t going to break you, you’re the alpha dog in the pack. It will be ok! Maybe look at this incrementally, like if you have one good breakthrough today, maybe tomorrow there will be two (or at least one). Rome wasn’t built in a day and all of those other sayings. There have been some moments where the sun just busted through the clouds like her singing in the car, and stepping up at the hospital to tell everyone you are her mom and you just adopted her. I see some incredible nuggets in your posts! Sending you both hug and strength. Hope you feel better, maybe a lazy snow day will be good for both of you tomorrow.
February 13th, 2014 at 8:01 am
Hijinks–that’s a good phrase for some of these behaviors. I know it takes time, even though time feels like both my enemy and my hero. We’ve got a few more “1st times” to get through and I think we will really begin to be on the other side of some of the messiness. I hope.
February 13th, 2014 at 1:10 am
“Naw girl, no one is checking for your little “note sent home but never really gets here” game. No boo, teachers just email the parents now.” I ABOUT DIED IN TEARS reading this at work, girl. I feel for your struggle right now. I will be more purposeful with keeping you two in my prayers for peace in the mind, heart, soul and home.
February 13th, 2014 at 7:56 am
Thanks Puddin. The father in her last foster family worked at her school, so he would get the information in nearly real time; she’s never been in a system where teachers have directly communicated with a parent, so her reaction was pretty priceless. As believed Wednesday was better and I’m on the mend, but yes, please keep us in prayer. I know it will get better but the getting through is rough.
February 13th, 2014 at 7:42 am
I am sorry things are so hard right now. I am sending prayers to you and her. Keep up the good work!!
February 13th, 2014 at 7:58 am
Thanks A-NY-Mamma. It feels like a mess right now, but I’m trying to just stay the course.
February 15th, 2014 at 5:48 pm
Thank you so much for being so honest. It helps people like me really understand what types of things we could really encounter in the foster-thing. My biggest fear is being judged for not “doing it right” … even though I know perfection is impossible. Bless you for doing what you do and hanging in there. This child was placed with you for a purpose. God has a plan!
February 15th, 2014 at 10:12 pm
Thanks for the read. Oh, I worry a lot about being judged, but that concern just plays in the background. There’s too much happening for me to consciously fret about it too much. Unless its the night before your first home visit post placement–like tonight. 🙂 I’m surviving and so is she. Thanks!
February 15th, 2014 at 7:04 pm
Hang in there! You’re not alone. Parenting any child of any age is a non-stop roller coaster.